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Hunters are getting ready for Spring Turkey Season where they may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day.

Hunting is permitted in most areas of the New York state for those with a turkey hunting permit and hunting license. Shooting hours are a half hour before sunrise till noon each day. Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8 or with a bow or crossbow.

Important Details for the Spring Turkey Season, May 1 through 31, 2018:

  • Hunters cannot use rifles or handguns but must hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow or crossbow.
  • Successful hunters must fill out the tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested.
  • Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT) or report harvest online on DEC's website.
  • For more information about turkey hunting in New York, see the 2017-18 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit the "Turkey Hunting" pages of DEC's website.

DEC suggests hunters follow the cardinal rules of hunting safety:

  • Assume every gun is loaded
  • Control the muzzle
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
  • Be absolutely sure of your target and what may be beyond it, and don't stalk.
  • DEC recommends that hunters are set up with their backs against a large tree and call birds. To find a hunter education class in your area, visit DEC's website or call 1-888-HUNT-ED2 (1-888-486-8332).

Citizen Science Opportunities:
DEC Seeks Turkey Hunters for Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey - Turkey hunters in pursuit of that wary gobbler in the spring are ideally suited for monitoring ruffed grouse during the breeding season. Turkey hunters can record the number of grouse they hear drumming while afield to help DEC track the distribution and abundance of this game bird. To get a Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey form, visit DEC's website or call (518) 402-8883.

To participate in DEC's Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey or other wildlife surveys, visit the "Citizen Science" page of the DEC website.